Dead Drops | Un-cloud your files in cement!

by Cecilia Di Marzo
4 Love 2196 Visits

12/03/2013 - Dead Drops is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. ‘Dead Drops’ is a project initiated by the german artist Aram Bartholl during his artist in residence at EYEBEAM in New York City, October 2010.

Anyone can access a Dead Drop and everyone may install a Dead Drop in their neighborhood/city. A Dead Drop must be public accessible. A Dead Drop inside closed buildings or private places with limited or temporary access is not a Dead Drop. A real Dead Drop mounts as read and writeable mass storage drive without any custom software. Dead Drops don’t need to be synced or connected to each other.

Each Dead Drop is singular in its existence. A very beautiful Dead Drop shows only the metal sheath enclosed type-A USB plug and is cemented into walls.You would hardly notice it.

Dead Drops don’t need any cables or wireless technology. Your knees on the ground or a dirty jacket on the wall is what it takes share files offline.

A Dead Drop is a naked piece of passively powered Universal Serial Bus technology embedded into the city, the only true public space. In an era of growing clouds and fancy new devices without access to local files we need to rethink the freedom and distribution of data. The Dead Drops movement is on its way for change!

How to make your own

‘Dead Drops’ is open for participation! Your are free to go for your own Dead Drop! If you want to install a Dead Drop in your city/neighborhood please follow ‘how to’ instruction below and submit the location and pictures when you are done in the form at this link.

How to install a Dead Drop

- Read the Dead Drops manifesto!

- Get a USB flash drive of any size.

- Dismantle the plastic cover. (It has shown the stick stays more stable if you leave it on, feel free to experiment!)

- Wrap it in plummers tape to seal it off.

- Download the readme.txt and manifesto here (eng, french, esp, port, russ, dutch, ger, ita, chin, czech) , edit authorship/credits/date)and load it on the drive. [more translations are welocme!]

- Use fast setting concrete to cement the stick in a crack or hole.

- Make sure to make the wall look nice afterwards, eventually you ll need some color for touch up.

- Make sure to place it in a way that it can be accessed directly with a laptop. (Not everybody has an extension cable)

- USB ports locations on laptops are different from model to model. The ‘front side’ (2 holes of the plug) points up! Is the left side port and right side port on a laptop accessible?

- Optional you could use epoxy putty to glue the flash drive to other objects.

- Take 3 good pictures!
- Overview of the street/place, how does your city look like?
Approximate location of your Dead Drop, medium distance.
Closeup! We want to see your Dead Drop!

Optional check also the instructions by frenzy on 

To submit your Dead Drop click here!